Random #257 – 50 Fascinating Random Facts

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26Steering wheel

Safety experts now recommend driving with your hands at 9 and 3 on the steering wheel. The old 10 and 2 positions can break your hands or force your arms into your face if the airbag deploys.


27. The primordial pouch is a skin flap on the stomach area of some cat breeds which appears regardless of weight. It helps to store energy when a cat goes a long period in between meals, and to protect vital organs when involved in fights.


28. Berliners love the "currywurst", a sausage topped with curry ketchup, so much, that there have been commemorative coins, novels, plays, and movies honoring its invention. By tradition, every candidate for mayor must be photographed in front of a currywurst stand.


29. The domesticated hamsters we now call pets are all descended from one “Adam and Eve” like pair captured in Aleppo, Syria in 1930.


30. Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan were professional acquaintances during the Voyager project in 1977. When Sagan returned a phone call from Druyan it turned into a date and they were engaged by the end of the call. They married in 1981 and were together until Sagan's death in December 1996.


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31Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba is the only member of its genus, which is the only genus in its family, which is the only family in its order, which is the only order in its subclass.


32. In Monsters Inc., when they point at the White Sock and shout “23-19!”, the 23rd and 19th letter of the alphabet are WS (the initials of White Sock).


33. Adolf Galland, one of the top-scoring German aces of World War 2, often flew missions in just his swimming trunks, smoking a cigar, and with a plane emblazoned with Mickey Mouse art. "I've always liked Mickey Mouse," he said when asked about the strange behavior.


34. In 1969, Dillibe Onyeama became the first black person to finish their studies at the prestigious Eton College in England. He wrote a book about racism at Eton and was subsequently banned from visiting the school. He finally received an apology for his treatment this 2020.


35. Hunter S. Thompson once tied Bill Murray to a chair and dumped him to the bottom of a swimming pool. The pair were attempting a series of Houdini-style escapes, and Thompson saved Murray just before he drowned.


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36San Diego Attorney

In 2013, San Diego's City Attorney named Tom Tosdal prosecuted a man named Jeff Olson for writing anti-bank messages in washable chalk on a public sidewalk. He faced 13 counts of vandalism and thousands of dollars in restitution. The jury acquitted him of all charges.


37. Lord Voldemort’s costume had 7 shades of green for each of his 7 Horcruxes. Every time one was destroyed, his cloak lost shade and faded in color to give the impression he was “fading away.”


38. An 81-year-old man called Giles Corey, accused of being a wizard in 1692, was the only man in American history to be subjected to death by pressing in an attempt to get him to submit to trial by jury. It is said that his response to the torture was to tell them to add 'more weight.'


39. Agatha Christie was a surfer. Agatha became skilled at body-boarding in South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, and in Hawaii, she learned to ride while standing on the board.


40. Working too much is an official cause of death in Japan. Called 'Karoshi' which literally means 'overwork death' it became a hot button issue the mid to late 1980s when several high-ranking businessmen who were still in their prime years suddenly died without any previous sign of illness.


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41Weird Al

Weird Al wanted to make a parody of “Live and Let Die” titled “Chicken Pot Pie”; but Paul McCartney refused because he is vegetarian, and couldn’t condone a song about eating meat.


42. In 1917, the US War Industries Board asked women to stop buying corsets to free up the production of metal. It liberated 28,000 tonnes of metal, enough to build two battleships.


43. The slower refresh rate on older TVs means that dogs see a 'flipbook' effect if they watch them, unlike with newer TVs where they are more likely to perceive something as actually moving.


44. Chicago's guitarist Terry Kath's last words were "Don't worry about it ... Look, the clip is not even in it" while playing with a pistol, putting it to his temple. Unbeknownst to Kath, there was a round in the chamber. He died instantly from the gunshot.


45. The Canary Islands are named after dogs, not birds. The name Islas Canarias is likely derived from the Latin name Canariae Insulae, meaning "Islands of the Dogs". It is said that the original inhabitants of the island, Guanches, used to worship dogs, and generally treated them as holy animals.


46Hearing

Humans hear anywhere from 20 to 100 times faster than they see so that everything that they perceive with their ears is coloring every other perception they have and every conscious thought they have. The sound gets in so fast that it modifies all the other input and sets the stage for it.


47. In their natural state, olives are almost completely inedible. To make them edible, olives are bathed in lye, a powerful corrosive, for several days.


48. The HMS Perseus submarine was hit and sunk on December 6, 1941. John Capes and 3 others opened the escape hatch, and using an early type of oxygen breather, swam 170 feet to the surface. Capes was the only survivor. He then spent 18 months on a Greek island evading capture from the Italian army.


49. When Civil Rights Activist, Medgar Evers, was assassinated right outside his home in Jackson Mississippi, the hospital he was brought to “initially refused entry because of his race.”


50. George Harrison was sued for $1.6 million for subconsciously copying The Chiffons “He’s So Fine”. This action would cause Harrison to become paranoid when writing songs.

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